As soon as a company achieves a certain level of success, they start looking down rather than up. They start believing they have more to lose than they have to gain.
When you have no sales, the only way to look is up. So, you focus on finding the best ways to grow your sales. You only see opportunity.
It’s like climbing a mountain. It’s difficult, and you’ll face new challenges on a daily basis. From the bottom of the mountain, you can see what you think is the top of the mountain and that becomes your goal.
You are only looking up at that goal, and every day you’re making more and more progress up that slope. If you try something and it doesn’t work, you adapt and keep trying new approaches until you get it right.
While you’re still climbing, there is no failure – only learning. It’s not neat or pretty or efficient. There are no sure things, just a lot of “I’ve got an idea” and “Let’s try this.” And everyone is working together.
When you reach a certain height, though, someone does something really stupid
They Look Down!
The more success you’ve had, the higher you are and the scarier it is to look down.
The fear of falling becomes stronger than the desire to continue climbing and growing.
Fear makes it more important to keep the business you have instead of finding new people to buy from you. You become so worried about upsetting your current customers that you don’t do what’s best for them or for yourself.
Now that you’re more concerned with keeping what you have, your focus shifts to lowering your costs instead of better meeting your customer’s needs.
Instead of trying to figure out what it would take to get the customer’s business, you look at any new innovation, business model or service improvement and say “We can’t do that.”
You probably think you can have it both ways. You can protect your current business while still growing. After all, isn’t that what salespeople are for?
In reality, taking this approach makes it harder for your salespeople to sell and for customers to buy. Instead of supporting them with a “What will it take?” attitude, you give them a lot of “Sorry, we can’t do that.”
As a salesman, you should be able to “sell them” on not getting what they really want.
“What will it take?” is not about lowering your price. It’s about changing the way you do business or the features of your product to better meet the needs of your customers.
When you are focused on how much business you have to gain, you are constantly looking for ways to outperform the competition and improve your customer’s experience.
You are also focused on pursuing new opportunities and new customers. You are in charge of your own future instead of allowing a current customer to run your business.
Most building materials companies have a lot more to gain than they have to lose. They just don’t realize it because they’re too busy looking down instead of looking up.
So, take a look at your business and ask yourself this: are you ready to start climbing again?
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